Sports Card News, Reviews, and Box Breaks

2007 Topps Sterling Checklist and Review

December 26th, 2007 by Alex

Topps Sterling is back for its second year. Its similar to last year’s product in setup, but the checklist has been changed to include more of today’s active stars, along with HOFers.

Suggested Retail: $230
(You might find one for under $200 on eBay.)

If you are unfamiliar with how Topps Sterling is setup:

Case Details

  • 10 boxes per case
  • 1 Letter Patch card numbered to 1 (in a mystery pack)
  • 1 Relic/Auto/Parallel card numbered to 1
  • 1 Mickey Mantle Box
  • 1 Barry Bonds Box

Box Details

  • 5 cards per box (4 player cards + a single card mystery pack)
  • 1 Relic/Autograph numbered to 10 or less
  • 3 base cards numbered to 250
  • Mystery pack has 1 parallel base card numbered to 50 or less or a GU full letter patch numbered to 1.

2007 Topps Sterling Box

The boxes look like this and have a label with a player name on it. All four cards inside will be of that player. The mystery pack can have a card of any player.

2007 Topps Sterling Checklist

  • Albert Pujols
  • Alex Rodriguez
  • Barry Bonds
  • Bob Gibson
  • Carl Yastrzemski
  • Chien-Ming Wang
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka
  • David Ortiz
  • David Wright
  • Hideki Matsui
  • Ichiro
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Johan Santana
  • Justin Morneau
  • Manny Ramirez
  • Mickey Mantle
  • Mike Schmidt
  • Nolan Ryan
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Roger Clemens
  • Roger Maris
  • Ryan Howard
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Stan Musial
  • Ted Williams
  • Tom Seaver
  • Tony Gwynn
  • Yogi Berra

The Breakdown

Relics and autographs are evenly seeded, meaning each box has a 50% chance of having a Relic and 50% chance of having an auto.

Relics - Triple, Quad, 5 and 6 piece relics, and 8-piece foldout cards, Jumbo Swatch, Bat Barrel

Autos - Autographed versions of the Triple, Quad, 8-piece relics and Jumbo Swatches, also cut autos of Mantle, Maris, Williams, Clemente, and DiMaggio

Autographed Quad Relic
Autographed Quad Relic

8 piece Foldout
8 Piece Foldout

Jumbo Swatch
Jumbo Swatch

Mystery Pack - Every box comes with a mystery pack box topper. The mystery pack contains a parallel base card numbered to 50 or less of any player on the checklist. Also you can get 1/1 game used letter patches in the mystery pack at a seeding of 1 every 10 boxes. The patch checklist features players outside of the 29 players in the regular set.

Game Used Letter 1/1
Game Used Letter 1/1

The Bottom Line

The Good: The checklist is pretty strong. A good mix of HOFers, current stars, and Justin Morneau… The card design is also sharp. There are nice patch pieces included with the relics and the bat barrels and jumbo swatches ensure that any player box can yield a big hit. In terms of value, this is still a high-end product so its hard to get your money back, but Topps has done a pretty good job of eliminating absolute “dud” boxes.

The Bad: Like last year’s Topps Sterling, both Barry Bonds and Mickey Mantle boxes come one per case. Now I’m pretty sure no one will complain about getting a Mickey Mantle box but why include so many Bonds boxes? Most of the Bonds boxes will just have relics in them because there aren’t that many Bonds autographs included.

The Ugly: With so many different variations on the relic cards, sometimes Topps has to get creative with the cutouts for the game-used pieces. The 8-piece foldouts are particularly tricky (Check out the Matsui foldout above with “THEB RONX”. Ok, so I’m nitpicking right now. Still, it doesn’t really look right when they break up words to fit on those foldouts.

The Verdict: If you can afford the steep price tag, I say go for it. Its a fun product to open, even though it goes quick. There are enough “big hit” cards (Jumbo Swatches, Bat Barrels, Cut Signatures), that its not impossible to pull one. Basically, whatever player you get, you have the potential to get something really sick. While you probably won’t get your money back, you won’t walk away feeling like someone just punched you in the stomach either. This product should satisfy almost every type of collector out there (except poor ones).

UPDATE 2007-12-28
Read more: 2007 Topps Sterling Analysis

UPDATE 2008-01-06
Read even more: 2007 Topps Sterling Analysis - Part 2

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